Quebec will toughen its language laws if the Parti Québécois wins a majority in the next provincial election, with measures to fight creeping bilingualism like the “Bonjour-Hi” greeting common at Montreal retailers, the minister responsible for Quebec’s French Language said Monday.
Speaking to business leaders, Diane De Courcy warned of a “slide into institutional bilingualism” at businesses across Quebec. “It’s an unacceptable slide,” she said at a conference on the status of French in the private sector held by the Quebec Employers’ Council.
“We are seeing a slide from a French Quebec to a bilingual Quebec,” said Ms. De Courcy, who said a PQ majority government would make it a priority to bring back its bill strengthening Quebec’s French Language Charter. An election is expected as early as April, and polls show the minority PQ government poised for a majority.
But Yves-Thomas Dorval, present of the employers’ council, said that while business owners value the importance of French, it is important not to saddle employers with excessive regulations. He also said he thought it was a mistake to present bilingualism as a threat. “When it comes to the perception of bilingualism in the workforce as a threat, on the contrary, since around the world the international language of business is English, we have to be careful not to ghettoize ourselves,” he said.
Si le PQ devient majoritaire en avril, on aura droit à ce type de niaisage pour les 4 prochaines années…